Riding visibility is essential for any motorcycle rider. Without it, you're exposing yourself to all the elements of the road. With it, you can ride safer and with peace of mind. That said, there are several things you can do to be more visible when riding a motorcycle. In this article, we'll cover why visibility is crucial for riding a bike. We'll also go over some tips on improving visibility.
Why motorcycle visibility is important
Simply put, visibility can be a matter of life and death for motorcycle riders. According to a study by the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS), motorcycle visibility is the leading cause of crashes between bikes and cars. 65% of the time, lack of visibility was the major factor that caused these crashes. The study further adds that poor visibility is caused by rain, fog, and strong winds, among other reasons. In these instances, whether you ride a naked bike or a sport bike, you're going to need to be prepared. The tips below will show you how to be more visible when riding a motorcycle.
Tips for improving riding visibility
- Choose a bold-colored motorcycle. There are plenty of motorcycles available on the market, and many of them feature bold designs with clearly visible colors. A bold color scheme may appear more visible on the road and make it easier for other motorists to keep their distance. Something like the 2021 KTM 200 Duke, which features striking orange accents, can be the ideal motorcycle for improving riding visibility.
- Use reflective tape. If you already own a motorcycle with a more muted design, or if you want to increase visibility further, you can try using reflective tape. This type of tape uses reflective material to bounce lights off oncoming vehicles and other light sources. You could try sticking reflective tape to parts of your motorcycle. The rims are common areas to put reflective tape on, and if your bike has a windscreen, panniers, or saddlebags, that should work too.
- Wear bright riding gear. Sporting loud and bright colors could increase your riding visibility greatly. There are widely available motorcycle vests that come in vibrant neon green, yellow, and orange colors. Aside from that, you could also wear bright-colored helmets, jackets, and gloves. While bright colors are not always in style, you'd be doing yourself a favor by being safer on the road. As another option, you could also try putting reflective tape on your regular riding gear to achieve a similar effect.
- Modify your motorcycle. A more extreme option would be modifying your motorcycle's lighting system. This involves installing LED headlights and taillights if your bike doesn't already have them. LED lamps are usually brighter than halogens, so riding visibility is enhanced when equipped. Just be careful not to put too much LED. Stay within the confines of improvement, not additional lamps.
So, we've discussed why riding visibility matters and how you can improve on this front. Apply these tips, and you'll be much safer while riding your motorcycle. Remember to practice defensive riding and wear the proper safety gear at all times.